Tag Archives: Canada

What Lea Sicat Reyes has said

In her column “Insight Avenue,” Lea Sicat Reyes has asked how can disability intervention in the Philippines become accessible to persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the country with limited resources and what should be done about it.

Countries like Vietnam, Togo, and India have successful programs in place that cater to children who live with visual and hearing impairments and other physical, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities,” she noted after mentioning the countries with similar context to the Philippines but have effectively addressed disability- related concerns.

“The Philippines can definitely gain valuable insights from their common practices,” she added.

So Reyes suggested pursuing partnerships between the government and civic groups that have the capacity to empower stakeholders. The Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF), for instance, has initiated a program in Vietnam that would “provide an integrated effort to teach deaf children sign language at a very young age, helping them to get ready to learn when they enter formal primary school.” It also funded a program on inclusive education for the PWDs in Malawi which “tests innovative methods to raise enrolment among children with disabilities who are not in mainstream schools and also supports the development of an inclusive education policy.”

Throughout the country, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the LAJ Philippines- LEGO funded the creation of the National Centers for Children with Disabilities in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

Reyes noted, too, that a community-based approach where intervention is concerned is both practical and sustainable. Parents and families must then have a working understanding of their children’s intervention program. The disability-related concerns in the Global South1 should be studied more since “resources are readily available and systems are already in place to provide maximum support for children with disabilities” in the Global North2.

“We can no longer overlook the need to address the plight of children with disabilities in the Philippines. If we continue to allow these to fester, more and more children will be deprived of a chance to have a better quality of life. The time to act is now.” ~ Lea Sicat Reyes

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of unicefphilippines

1The Global South refers “Third World” (i.e., Africa, Latin America, and the developing countries in Asia), “developing countries,” “less developed countries,” and “less developed regions.”

2The Global North is home to all the members of the G8 (United States of America, Japan, Russia, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France) and to four of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

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On PADS-Cebu

During the 9th Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Carnival held at Pier 10 of the Central Harbour in Hong Kong, the PADS Adaptive Dragon Boat Racing Team won in the 400-meter standard boat international paradragon division. It topped during the first heat of the race at 1:35 and during the second heat at 1:33.913.

The team bested 160 other teams consisting of 4,500 athletes from all over the world to rule the event for the second year in a row. The second place went to Hong Kong’s Golden Eagle while the third place went to Taiwan’s NAAC Top Brilliances Dragon Boat Team.

It wasn’t the first time the Philippine Accessibility Disability Services (PADS) brought victory to the country in dragon boat racing. The team, which was headed by JP Ecarma Maunes, is composed of 14 men and four women that are either blind, deaf, or amputees. In June 5, 2017, it already competed in the said carnival against teams from Hong Kong, United Kingdom, and Singapore. It won in the final round by seven seconds.

Like other organizations dedicated to PWDs, PADS aims to “enable the PWD community to grow and develop as independent, integrated, fully human and empowered citizens in society” through promoting social inclusion and human rights of PWDs. It has succeeded to (1) increase the participation of the PWD in Filipino electoral and governance processes, (2) educate communities on PWD human rights, and (3) develop opportunities to promote Filipino Sign Language 12 years after it has started.

“We dedicate this victory to the plight of thousands of Filipinos with disabilities. We also want to dedicate this triumph to the Filipinos in Hong Kong who took care of the needs of the team, took a stand to leave their day jobs, and cheered side by side with the team. May this win uplift their hearts and national pride.” ~ PADS

Notes:

  1. The 9th Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Carnival happened last June 22 to 24. It was organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association.
  2. The other teams include those from Australia, Canada, France, Israel, Japan, Korea, Macau and Hong Kong, Mainland China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Philippines, and the United States.

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of MyTV Cebu

UPDATE (August 26, 2018): The Cebu-based Philippine Accessible Disability Services (Pads) Adaptive Dragonboat Racing Team have been recommended by the City Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission to be this year’s recipient of the Modern Day Hero Award.

Standard label?

How could the members of the world’s largest minority be known in a variety of names?

The Philippines has officially referred to them as “disabled persons” last July 22, 1991. Section 4 of the Republic Act No. 7277 has defined them as “those suffering from restriction or different abilities, as a result of a mental, physical or sensory impairment, to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.”

Fifteen years later, though, the law that was otherwise entitled as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons was amended and Section 4 of the Republic Act No. 9442 renamed every disabled person in the country as a “person with disability.” The title of Republic Act No. 7277 was changed to the “Magna Carta for Persons with Disability” and all references to “disabled persons” to “persons with disability”.

This must be the reason why Americans with a disability are labelled as “individuals with a disability”; Canadians and Vietnamese with a disability as “people with disabilities”; and Indians with a disability as “persons with disabilities.”

Moldovans with a disability are “invalid,” though—a portrayal that The Rhythmic Arts Project has claimed to “elicit unwanted sympathy, or worse, pity toward individuals with disabilities.” TRAP has further advised to use the terms person with a disability; people with disabilities; has a disability; or have disabilities instead.

If someone is using a wheelchair to move around, describe her as a “wheelchair user.” What some may classify as a “birth defect” or “affliction” is actually a “congenital disability” or “birth anomaly.”

There’s no need to describe someone as “a victim of [the physical condition]” when you can just say “has a [the physical condition]”. It could also be “has had [the physical condition]”; “experienced [the physical condition]”; or “has a disability as a result of [the physical condition].”

A “person with Down Syndrome” is different from a “Down’s person” or “Mongoloid” (the last two terms are simply derogatory). A “person who has epilepsy/people with seizure disorders or epileptic episodes” is also not the same as an “epileptic.”

Those that some in the society claim “the mentally ill,” “crazy,” “psycho,” or “mental case” should just be termed “people who have mental illness” or “person with a mental or emotional disorder.” Those it call “blind-hearing impaired,” “deaf-mute,” or “deaf and dumb” should be identified as “people who are blind,” “visually impaired,” “person who is hard of hearing,” “person who is deaf,” or “the Deaf.” Deafness is a cultural phenomenon and should be capitalized in this particular instance.

“The use of outdated language and words to describe people with disabilities (PWDs) contributes greatly to perpetuating old stereotypes.” ~ The Rhythmic Arts Project

Video taken from the website of the Disability Horizons

A Measuring Body?

Till now, The PWD Forum cannot find a country where persons with disabilities (PWDs) will be absolutely safe and sound.

It cannot be in the United States of America where The PWD Forum has 212 viewers. Chairman Sachin Pavithran of the U.S. Access Board and the disability policy analyst in the Utah State University still sees “misguided sympathy” and “warped forms of discrimination” 25 years after the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed.

It cannot be in Canada where The PWD Forum has 36 viewers. Even with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, columnist and public health reporter Andre Picard of The Globe and Mail observes that “we continue to treat inclusion of people with disabilities as a privilege rather than a right.”

It cannot be in the United Kingdom where The PWD Forum has 18 viewers. The digital news and views service CommonSpace has reported that the government has cut disability job support by 40% following controversies over the social security sanctions regime.

But then, nothing is absolute. The PWD Forum just hopes that it could convince its readers to act on the social problem physical disability has come to be.

“Discrimination occurs when, for some unfounded reason, those with disabilities are labeled as having “special” needs that are assumed to be better met at “special” schools.” ~ Sachin Pavithran

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the Charlestown Middle School

Cornwall

Persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Canada will finally be able to “gain the skills and experience they need to find jobs.”

Thirty-two PWDs in Cornwall, United Counties of SD&G, and Akwesasne will be supported by the Eastern Ontario Training Board (EOTB) upon receiving over $366,000 from the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities from the government of Canada.

“Canadians with disabilities deserve every opportunity to participate in the job market, and that’s why partnerships with organizations like the Eastern Ontario Training Board are so important,” Guy Lauzon, MP Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, was reported saying. “Through this project, people with disabilities in our area will gain the skills and experience they need to succeed in the workforce.”

Jobs Now will teach customer service and computer skills to PWDs in Canada. The latter will also be allowed to join the workforce of the local companies involved in sales and service. The program will also provide a wage subsidy to employers who employ PWDs and would keep them even after the program ends.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to provide employment skills and make connections in the community for people with disabilities. We know that everyone has contributions they can make in the Canadian workforce, and this program will make sure that we can make it happen for dozens of local residents.” ~ Denis Thibault


Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the AttitudeLive

Going to Canada

A relative is planning to migrate to Canada this year.

I also know of three others who recently did so, and another one who have just done that.

All of them have the same reason, though: they’re after the healthcare services of Canada.

Healthcare in Canada is delivered through a publicly funded health care system. The doctors in its 10 provinces—Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan—are the ones who handle the insurance claim against the provincial insurer so there’s no need for the patients there to mind their bills.

There is a health card issued by the Provincial Ministry of Health to its residents who applies for the program. Health coverage would not be denied to those who suddenly lose their jobs, and there are no lifetime limits or exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Canada is the only country in the world with this kind of universal healthcare system to date. But adherence to this 1984 legislation is voluntary. The Canada Health Act (CHA) does not cover the medical expenses for prescription drugs, home care or long-term care, prescription glasses, dental care, and cosmetic surgery. It is also left to the provinces to determine if the medical service is essential, where it should be taken, how it should be administered, and who should provide the services.

Canadian PWDs

About 3.8 million Canadians (or 13.7% of its 2012 population) have disabilities.

Four percent are ages 15 to 24 years old while 42.5% are ages 75 years old and over. There are more female PWDs than male, impaired by pain, flexibility, and mobility.

Still, Canada provides financial assistance and support for them. It would allot $222 million each year to its provinces and territories through the Labor Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (LMAPDs). Its Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes to maintain an ongoing fund of $40 million annually starting next year for the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities (OF).

It also has the disability tax credit (DTC) for Canadian PWDs with severe and prolonged impairments. It gives a tax-free benefit—child disability benefit (CDB)—to families who care for Canadian PWDS under 18 years old eligible for DTC.

“Equality is the public recognition, effectively expressed in institutions and manners, of the principle that an equal degree of attention is due to the needs of all human beings.” Simone Weil

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the MonkeySee